What Happened Last Night
Tuesday night more or less set up the SEC title showdown in Lexington on Saturday. The Florida Gators avenged a January 18 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks, winning the rematch in Gainesville by a score of 81-66 behind 26 points from KeVaughn Allen. The Gamecocks’ once-vaunted defense has looked very sketchy over the last four games, and while this is still a team that should get to the tournament, it’s probably not going to last very long if they can’t find their defensive groove again.
Florida is now 13-2 in the SEC, while South Carolina is 10-5. The latter means that everybody other than Florida and the Kentucky Wildcats now has at least five losses in SEC play; with Kentucky beating the Missouri Tigers, 72-62, on Tuesday night to improve to 13-2, that sets up Saturday’s rematch between the Gators and Wildcats as a de facto SEC title game. Kentucky had a surprisingly difficult time with Missouri, though: the Wildcats led by just 1 at the half and were in a tie game with seven minutes to go. Missouri drops to 2-13 in the SEC and 7-20 overall.
If there’s a slight bit of good news for Mizzou, they won’t finish last in the conference for the third year in a row. The LSU Tigers got drilled at home by the Auburn Tigers, 98-75, which dropped LSU to 1-14 in the SEC and 9-18 overall. The Auburn game represented LSU’s last best chance to pick up a second win in SEC play, and now they’re likely headed for a last-place finish. Five Auburn players scored in double figures, while Antonio Blakeney -- with a game-high 29 points -- was the only such player for LSU. Auburn improved to 6-9 overall and with a 17-11 overall record, they’ve now won 17 games for just the third time since 2003.
Down in Starkville, I.J. Ready’s buzzer beater got the Mississippi State Bulldogs into overtime with their rival Ole Miss Rebels, but the Rebels promptly went on a 10-0 run to open the extra frame on their way to an 87-82 win. Freshman Breein Tyree set a new career high with 24 points; that was also just his sixth game this season in double figures. Sebastian Saiz had another double-double with 23 and 10.
|Vanderbilt at Tennessee||6:30 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
|Texas A&M at Arkansas||8:30 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
It’s rivalry Wednesday, as it were, on the SEC Network. The early game matches cross-state rivals as Vanderbilt heads three hours east on I-40 to face Tennessee. Both teams come in at 7-7 in the SEC and are vaguely on the bubble. The late game matches old Southwest Conference rivals, with Texas A&M coming to Arkansas. Arkansas seemed to be fading in late January and early February, but the Razorbacks now have a three-game winning streak.
On the other side, Texas A&M is trying to avoid the ignominious distinction of going from an SEC title to the bottom four in the span of one year -- and with a likely NBA lottery pick on the roster.
Odds and Picks
Last night: 2-2 ATS; Season to Date: 98-124-1 ATS
(Note: I am an idiot for picking LSU last night.)
- Vanderbilt (+3.5) at Tennessee: ***HOMER ALERT*** I am fairly sure my Vanderbilt fan credentials will be revoked if I pick any other way here.
- Texas A&M at Arkansas (-5): Considering how these two teams have been playing of late, 5 points seems a little low.